From a great looking bottle with a 2 cm fill, this wine had a deep red center and orange rims. The medium intensity nose displayed black cherries, beet root, ginger, and some garrigue.
This wine was a bit rough and overly intense when first poured. After several hours of air, it was nicely balanced with a attractive sappy texture in the mouth. The tannins were rounded and the wine had good length.
While this was not a particularly sophisticated wine, it had some complexity, a nice mouthfeel, and good balance. I would say this wine is in the back-end of the zone, so drink up!
Wonderful wine. Sweet cherry fruit (and plenty of it) fully integrated with tannins. Silky smooth. Moderate to light weight with leather, pepper, and other spices quite evident. I am surprised that it has gotten better (or at least this particular bottle was better) than the last '85 Vieux Telegraphe I tasted three or four years ago. Bravo!
Double Magnum. Ullaged due to an undersized cork, not detected as it was still in its cardboard carton, and the leakage was absorbed by some plastic foam that had been placed in the original package to protect the wax capsule. Colour very pleasingly dark, but the nose was distinctly flawed: the hard, almost rubbery smell of an ullaged wine. Tipped it down the sink. A previous double magnum a couple of years ago was really lovely, sweet matured nose and delightful in every way. The moral of the story is to look at bottles and detect ullaging as early as possible.
A close look at the empty double magnum shows clearly that the hard wax capsule material is adhering well down into the neck, indicating that the cork was already too far down before the wax was applied. This, combined with the distinct taper of the bottle ensured a poor seal. The brittle wax eventually cracked, allowing leakage. I waited 25 year for this!
Bordeaux large format bottles have parallel necks, giving the cork a much better chance of working properly.
French Wine Tasting Dinner at Renée's: Renée's: This label is pre-"La Crau"; showed sweet red cherry, raspberry, red licorice, white pepper and dried spices with anise and a little garrigue. Silky, still good fruit, no real barnyard or oxidation, and holding up very well for its age. Fantastic with leg of lamb with dried herbs.
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(Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Crau) Very bricked medium dark red color; nice tobacco, cigar box, smoke nose; tasty, tobacco, cigar box, smoke palate with depth; medium-plus finish